The North shore is popular around the world as the surfing capital of the planet due to the extraordinary big waves and hordes of surfers go here and alsi regular beach dudes and dudettes. you can have lots of activities but if you are not a good swimmer, stay near the shore as they have powerful waves and strong rip tides around the north shore of Oahu herea at Waimea Bay.
Lani'akea is the typical North Shore beach. White sand, surfers, big waves, all that is to be expected with one addition. On the east end of the beach a rocky point juts our into the water and in the cove just before that point green sea turtles frequently beach themselves and take in the sun.
Sea turtles are endangered and are a protected species. Accordingly, do not disturb them. At this beach a roped off area with a flag denoted the location where the turtle was at. It is also apparent by the large crowd of tourists trying to get a better look.
I think this beach is a fairly good bet to see turtles because a woman there (who was being sure people weren't messing with the turtle) was answering questions about the turtle. She even had names for this and several other turtles that frequent the location.
Among those questions people were asking (typically) how old they can get and how big they can get. From the net i found that they can get as heavy as 400 lb (181 kg) and as old as 80 years.
Sunset Beach is a 2 mile (3.2 km) long stretch of sand from 200 to 300 feet (60-90 meters) wide. In the winter this beach is also the site of some very large waves often between 15 and 20 feet (4-6 meters).
These waves make it a perfect location for surfing and it hosts many international surfing competitions. Aside from waves the sheer size of the beach make it seem less crowded. A recent show I saw on the Travel Channel rated this beach the 12th sexiest beach in the world.
If you do decide to swim be aware of big waves and the Sunset Rip, it is a riptide offshore and can pull you out to sea rather than push you in.
Traveling around the North Shore you will undoubtedly run into traffic. Parking is a nightmare as well. The only way to make this better is to realize that you are here to relax. It really doesn't matter when you get to your destination.
This is another example of "Island time" I didn't notice any drivers that were irritable. It just seemed to be the way it is. If you get frustrated and think you may start yelling at people, just pull over and lay on a beach for a while.
If you plan to walk the gardens at the Audobon center late in the day, I would suggest you bring bug repellant for the mosquitoes. The mosquitoes were pretty sneaky and persistent and we ended up with some itchy bites.